COONS & POSSUMS – ROADKILL FOR DINNER

COONS & POSSUMS – ROADKILL FOR DINNER

My mother, Lucy Mae was always “particular” about what she ate, preferring all types of “nice”
fresh vegetable, seafood and poultry dishes. B. was not at all picky. Not one bit! Mama’d say,
“I don’t eat a thang at Alma’s house, but a “Co-Cola” or a coconut! I ain’t bout to get poisoned
and die. I may eat a few a’ her ol’ stale ‘chee-wees’ or something like that sometimes, but not
much else. Alma is just too nasty!”
B. ate anything and everything that swam, crept, climbed, limped, walked or ran. She ate tripe,
chitlins’, hog maws, hog head cheese, pork brains, pork liver, pork lights, pig feet, pig ears, pig
tails and pig lips! She loved game as well… “possums”, “coons”, rabbits, and squirrels. Lucy
Mae loathed game, and “bad cuts of meat”. Although to B. both were considered a supreme
delicacy. It’s the God’s truth that she even ate road-kill whenever she “ran across it”! B. counted
it as a stroke of good luck when she happened upon some poor animal who’d met its untimely
demise on a country road.
Mama said, “We’d be riding in the car going to visit our kinfolks up in the country and that ‘dern
Alma would nearly make Tam (her husband) have a car wreck, hollerin’ for him to stop right’
quick and swerve over so she could pick up a dead coon, possum or whatever else was
flattened in the road.. That dern Alma didn’t know how long that thang been dead, but she’d
‘slap it in the trunk’ anyhow. Then we’d ride all over Jasper County, all day long, with that po’
dead coon she’d slung into that trunk. She didn’t have no ice or nothing. Finally she’d take that
thang home, dress it, put it in a pot and cook it!
B. would say to Mama, say, “Gull, you don’t know what you missin’. Put a sweet potato in that
possum’s mouth, bake him up in the oven and you got some good eatin’! Mama’d say, “I ‘clare
she’d start picking the meat off that coon before the water had a chance to boil. I’d say ‘Alma,
the water ain’t even hot and there you go picking at that meat!’ Lord, Alma it’s a miracle you
ain’t dead from food poisonin’ with your nasty self I clare, Alma, you’ll eat anythang!”
A Bowl Can Hole’ a Heap
B’ always, always ate her meals from a bowl. She’d say, “Bowls can hold a whole lot more than
a plate and in that way everybody can’t see how much you eating. A bowl can hold a heap.
Plates have your food spread all out so everybody can see what you got on it!” Much to Mama’s
chagrin, B. would also eat cold foods from the refrigerator, foods that are normally heated
before eating. She ate cornbread, greens, cabbage (her favorite) beef stew, gumbo, etc., “stone

cold”. Even raw hot dogs and smoked sausage were savored on the spot, “straight outta the
icebox”.
Mama would plead with her, “Alma, let me warm that up for you. Don’t eat them greens cold!
Girl, you just too neglectful about your health. And you eat too much. That’s why you so fat, you
eat too doggone much.” Alma would beam and cheerfully respond, “Baby, I ain’t fat, um
pleasingly plump. I can’t help it, cause I got meat on my bones and you po’ and skinny wit’ a
flat butt…shaped up just like a peckawood. Flat butt self! You jus’ jealous. I ain’t fat child, just
plump.”

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